Sicut Christus = Christlike in Latin
PART THREE OF SIX
Paul says in Ephesians 4:17-19, “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.” In verse 22, Paul says, “that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.”
The Gentiles Paul spoke of here were ungodly pagans. Paul speaks of the old man several times in the Bible. Verses 17-19 of Ephesians tell us a little about the character of the old man:
- The old man has a futile mind. Moral living and understanding God are not attainable for him.
- The old man is an unbeliever and spiritually separated from God, ignorant of His truth. The result is moral blindness and spiritual darkness.
- The old man is morally insensitive. As the old man sins and turns away from God, he becomes more apathetic about moral and spiritual things. His heart hardens toward the truth of the gospel.
The old man is hopeless and discouraged. At the beginning of the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, the following dialogue happens:
Clarence (a guardian angel): You sent for me, sir?
Franklin (a senior angel): Yes, Clarence. A man down on earth needs our help.
Clarence: Splendid! Is he sick?
Franklin: No, worse. He’s discouraged. At exactly 10:45 p.m. tonight, Earth time, that man will be thinking seriously of throwing away God’s greatest gift (his life).
This might be my favorite movie of all time. It has always stuck out to me that being discouraged is named as being worse than being sick, enough to make a man hopeless and drive him to want to end his life. But this is part of the character of the old man.
Thank God we have hope and that our identity does not have to lie in the old man forever!
Just for today, think about the “old man” you used to be and have a grateful heart you have been redeemed; be encouraged.
If the story of the old man, sounds too familiar:
Tune in tomorrow for Part Four….